Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dylan's first ER visit

After crawling, pulling up and walking, visiting the ER is a pretty standard milestone, isn't it? Dylan's hitting it at 14 months, courtesy of a gash to the forehead in an unfortunate laundry room mishap: a fairly minor fall at just the wrong angle against the drying rack his dad was setting up.

We called the consultant nurse who said to take him to the ER. The pictures were actually taken at the 2nd ER we went to tonight. The first had at least a dozen people waiting and a three to four hour wait! With both kids in tow and the witching hour of 8 pm fast-approaching, that kind of wait wasn't feasible unless staff there was prepared to hand out opiates to everyone in the waiting room to deal the ear bleeding caused by two shrieking children.

So we drove to another ER on our health plan in a neighboring city where there were just two people ahead of us and where we were seen within minutes of check-in by the triage nurse: a kid-friendly, burly man named Dan (of course).

After about 10 minutes, another nurse (not Dan) taped some numbing medicine to Dylan's head to prepare for the procedure ahead.
While we waited for it to take effect, I explained to Ava why there was a huge box of latex gloves in the room. The word "proctology" may have come up. Then I made a glove balloon to keep them entertained. 'Cause I'm all mad-crafty like that. Fo-shizzle.
When the pediatrician finally came to work his magic, I was given the unenviable task of sitting atop my wailing, flailing, screaming toddler on the gurney while a technician squirted saline solution into the short but frighteningly deep gash to clean it out.
 Given the aforementioned wailing and flailing, attempting to suture a gash so close to his eye would have been like trying to play that game Operation, except if you mess up, instead of getting a buzz, you stab an already-unhappy child in his eye, while his horrified mother, barely restrained father and protective, spitfire sister watch, mere inches away. But you know: no pressure.
They opted for fast-acting wound glue instead, held in place by a couple pieces of tape. My little guy left all patched up and looking like a miniature prize fighter. Hopefully this ER visit will be a rare event, not the "first in a series" in the years ahead. UPDATE: several friends with boys have since shared their own "first ER visit" stories and told me "don't bet on it." Sigh.